Atmospheric Composition

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission includes key optical instruments allowing to monitor operationally the composition of our atmosphere for air quality and climate purposes.

The Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) is a dual-view sensor with several channels of interest for hotspot and aerosol observations.

The SLSTR Near Real Time (NRT) Fire Radiative Power (FRP) product, implemented by EUMETSAT, identifies the location, and quantifies the radiative power, of any hotspot present on land and ocean Earth surfaces, that radiates a heating signal within a pixel size of 1 km2.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Example of the FRP Product showing hotspots

All threatening hotspots, i.e. agricultural burning, wildfires, deforestation, tropical peatland fires, industrial gas flares, and volcanoes, are identified and characterised in less than three hours since the SLSTR observation sensing time.

In a near-future, EUMETSAT will also implement the NRT SLSTR Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), a key parameter to detect and monitor all particles (except clouds) in suspension in our atmosphere, such as dust, smoke, black carbon and volcanic ash. Aerosol presence not only disrupts our climate system, total atmospheric energy budget and atmospheric visibility, it also affects human health and air flight safety.

These data are very important to improving our knowledge on aerosol and gas emissions. It is planned that they will be used operationally by the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS), as well as by other entities involved in air quality and climate monitoring.

Both AOD and fires are essential climate variables. Improving aerosol knowledge is also essential for enhancing the quality of other satellite datasets focused on surface applications, such as Ocean Colour.

Full details on the SLSTR Near Real Time (NRT) Fire Radiative Power (FRP) product


Users need to be registered to get access to the FRP product. To do this you need to use our Earth Observation Portal (EOP). To access the Earth Observation Portal (EOP) for the first time, users need to create an account. Once the account has been created, you can log in to view and modify your profile, service subscriptions and licence arrangements.

Register with EOP

FRP products are available:

All Sentinel data products are distributed using a Sentinel-specific variation of the Standard Archive Format for Europe (SAFE) format specification. The information is contained in a single package, with objects encoded in NetCDF format.

Full details can be found on the Sentinel Data Formats page.

Collecting your feedback — Additional available online and offline data

All public users can look at the daily monitoring of FRP hotspot situations from S3A and S3B via the EUMETSAT Monitoring & Evaluation of Thematic Information from Space (METIS) FRP webpage.

In addition, a series of S3 FRP dataset produced off-line from the same EUMETSAT processor v2.0 can be made available upon request via our User Service Helpdesk.

This includes the following:

  • Complete worldwide reprocessing of past S3 FRP dataset up to 1 December 2019, based on the 'Full F1 Off' configuration, similar to the current reference NRT configuration disseminated operationally.
  • Complete worldwide reprocessing of past (up to 1 December 2019) and present S3 FRP dataset, based on the 'Full F1 On' configuration. Users are advised this configuration is currently under evaluation, and not yet part of the reference NRT configuration. However, any user is welcome to evaluate it and give feedback.
  • Specific regionally and/or temporally limited reprocessing may be addressed.
  • Possible, other ancillary data and/or expert advice support.

Overall, EUMETSAT welcomes feedback from users at any time via the User Service Helpdesk.

Atmospheric Composition documents

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